In campaign against lobbyists’ influence, Kander seeks their fundraising help

– When Secretary of State Jason Kander announced his campaign for U.S. Senate earlier this year against, he said the influence of lobbyists over politicians like incumbent Roy Blunt should be challenged and be diminished.

“I’m running to be Missouri’s senator because it is time that someone stood up for the middle class, not millionaires, huge corporations and lobbyists,” the Democrat said in a video announcing his candidacy.

But as he looks to fund his young campaign, it is the lobbyists who he is meeting with early to ask for their fundraising help.

Last Wednesday, Kander attended a fundraiser at the lobbying firm Porterfield, Lowenthal, Fettig & Sears. According to Open Secrets, the company made more than $2.7 million last year to advocate on behalf of the banking industry. On the same trip, Kander had planned to attend another fundraiser at the Flanagan Fulkerson & Company, but it was ultimately cancelled.

Abe Rakov, Kander’s campaign manager, said the campaign looked to Missouri for campaign support, first.

“On the first day of the campaign, Jason received more contributions from Missourians than Senator Blunt received all of last quarter. If Senator Blunt wants to make this campaign about who is in Washington, D.C. more, we welcome that,” he said. “Jason was at events in Columbia and Hannibal on Saturday. Where was Senator Blunt this weekend?”

Seeking a Washington, D.C., fundraising boost is far from unusual when funding expensive, nationally watched Senate races like the one in Missouri is shaping up to be. In a world of campaign finance limits, national money is sought by most candidates, and some of the Washington, D.C., lobbyists who know how to find it best.

In fact, Blunt – a member of the Senate Republican leadership team – has held 56 fundraisers since he was elected to office in 2010, holding an average of 14 fundraisers in the nation’s capital each year.

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